Friday, June 06, 2014
Retired teacher, 63, was held captive in bedsit for five months by abusive multiculturalist
A retired teacher was held captive in a bedsit for five months by an abusive man who subjected him to ‘brutal and degrading’ attacks which included being punished for using the bathroom.
Mohammed Ballal, 42, also bullied 63-year-old Gerald Kennedy into buying a £22,000 sports car and demanded he transfer ownership of his home during the wave of abuse.
He terrorised Mr Kennedy at the ‘pokey’ bedsit in Nelson, Lancashire for months and throttled, punched and kicked him in the stomach and between the legs while holding him captive.
Preston Crown Court heard how the ‘distressed’ victim eventually managed to escape after months of horrific abuse and reported his captor to police.
Ballal today pleaded guilty to fraud, false imprisonment and two counts of assault and was sentenced to four years and two months in prison.
Prosecutor Paul McDonald said Ballal got to know his victim when a friend started drinking at the man’s house.
The court heard how Mr Kennedy was told by Ballal that he could avoid paying money on his mortgage by transferring his home to someone else.
Following the conversation, he was given five minutes to pack his bags and taken to a ‘pokey’ bedsit where he was told he would only have to stay there 10 days at the most.
But he ended up being held a prisoner there for five months by Ballal who forced his victim into acting as a ‘chauffeur and household lackey’.
During his time at the bedsit, Ballal regularly assaulted Mr Kennedy over domestic issues, such as using the bathroom when he shouldn’t, and on one occasion shoved him to the ground and held a large piece of concrete over his head.
In November last year, Ballal also kicked him twice in the chest and swung a punch at him after accusing him of lying.
Mr McDonald said: ‘His life changed somewhat dramatically.
‘His freedom of movement was severely restricted by the defendant who used bullying and violence towards him to enforce his will.
‘He was hit at least once a day, usually for a minor ‘fault’ or trivial ‘complaint’. He became conditioned to accept it as a way of life. ‘The defendant seemed to enjoy administering such punishment.
‘He (Mr Kennedy) speaks of being throttled, punched in the stomach and neck, poked in the eye, punched in the face and kicked in the shins and between his legs.’
Mr Kennedy eventually escaped from the bedsit and rushed to the home of a longstanding friend in a ‘distressed state’.
Michael Blakey, defending, said Ballal showed remorse through his guilty pleas, sparing the victim the difficult ordeal of having to give evidence.
He also told the court that Ballal was not the man who told Mr Kennedy to pack his bags and said others drove him away to the bedsit.
Judge Ian Leeming, QC, described Ballal’s behaviour as ‘disgraceful and brutal’.
He said: ‘There was almost daily insults, degradations and frequent assaults. He had to do everything you demanded of him by way of service.’
Ballal was also made the subject of a lifetime restraining order banning him from contacting his victim.
Immigrants should not expect special treatment in hospital because of their culture, says London Mayor Boris Johnson
The Hindu Boris
Immigrants being treated on the NHS should not expect special treatment because of their religion, Boris Johnson said this morning.
The London Mayor said nurses should not be forced to undergo 'culture training' to learn how to deal with Muslim patients. He said: 'We live in England. We live in London. I think people should speak English. When in Rome do as the Romans do.'
The inflammatory comments came after he was challenged by a Muslim nurse who said she did not think it was right for NHS workers to change their ways.
It came after a leading heart surgeon said NHS staff needed special training to help patients from specific religious and cultural beliefs.
Aiman Alzetani, a consultant surgeon at Southampton General Hospital, said there were issues like washing before and after meals, shaking hands with members of the opposite sex and male relatives seeing female Islamic patients that nurses needed to understand.
Mr Alzetani wants a pocket or ward guide on all religions and cultures for use across the NHS. He also wants to see 'culture champions' in hospitals offering advice and support.
He said: 'It can be a source of frustration for clinical staff when patients do not seem to be cooperating, but in the case of Muslim patients, for example, it could be something as simple as someone trying to pass them food in their left hand, which they wash with, instead of their right.
'Muslim patients are also required to hand-wash before and after eating and, if bed-bound, may need a portable handwash facility which, again, can seem odd or unnecessary to those who are not familiar with such processes.
'It is not widely known that Muslims are not allowed to shake hands with a member of the opposite sex, that intoxicating drugs are not permissible or that not all male family members are allowed to visit a female relative without her hijab on.
'These are all situations that could cause issues between staff and patients, but they could be easily avoided with some basic training or information to help guide staff.'
But Mr Johnson said patients should accept traditional British standards of care - as long as Nurses and other health staff were being 'polite'. He said: 'I believe in being polite. If you can be polite to people then you should be polite. 'But we live in England, or rather more accurately we live in London, and I think people should speak English.
'I don't think anyone should take offence if people do things which they have been accustomed to do all their lives. And when in Rome, do as the Romans do. That's where we are. Well, we're not in Rome, we're in London.'
His view was backed by a caller to the phone in who said she was a Muslim convert but did not believe nurses should have to cater for different cultures.
She said: 'I'm a Muslim. I'm a convert. But as far as I am concerned it doesn't affect my religion or my beliefs if someone gives me a packet of crisps with their left hand. It's not offensive.'
Queen's Speech: Tax avoiders told to pay up front in new guilty-before-trial law
Taxpayers will be treated as “guilty until proven innocent” as HM Revenue & Customs gets the power to force them to pay up front if officials suspect them of tax avoidance.
Under plans announced in the Queen’s Speech, people using tax avoidance schemes will be made to make “accelerated payments” as part of plans to raise around £2 billion.
Treasury figures suggest that 65,000 people could be affected by the new powers. HMRC could raise a more than £2bn in all.
The most controversial aspect of the new plans is for the new rules to apply to a “legacy stock” of pre-existing cases, where people invested money in contentious schemes several years ago.
George Osborne earlier this year announced a major Government crackdown on tax avoiders following a series of high-profile cases involving celebrities including Gary Barlow, the Take That singer.
Mr Barlow, two of his Take That band mates and their manager face repaying tens of millions of pounds to HMRC after investing in schemes that a judge ruled amounted to tax avoidance.
As part of the plans, people accused of using avoidance schemes will be made to pay their tax up front while HMRC and the courts decide whether or not the arrangements are legal.
Experts have warned that it will lead to tens of thousands of potentially innocent British citizens being forced to pay their taxes before they are even due.
The all-party Treasury Select Committee last month expressed concerns about the plans for up-front payments to HMRC.
Neal Todd, corporate tax partner at Berwin Leighton Paisner, warned that the HMRC are acting as “judge and jury”.
He said: “We continue to have serious reservations about this. It’s causing a great deal of concern amongst clients, to be quite frank. The reason is that it gives the Revenue the power to come along to a taxpayer and ask for the money straight away.
“That worries people. In a sense the Revenue can think of a number – obviously they have to act reasonably – but they can decide what they think the right number is. That’s very different from going to a court and them saying, ‘On balance we have decided that you owe a certain amount of money’.
“For many people, the prospect that the Revenue can be judge and jury without going to tribunal…is very worrying and contrary to the normal rules of law and procedure.”
Tina Riches, national tax partner at accountancy and investment management group Smith & Williamson, added: “In some ways it flies in the face of the British justice system in that normally if there’s an issue you can take it court and an independent judge can decide.
“But if you’ve got to pay the tax up front before you can get anywhere near the court you could image that people could end up just deciding to pay the tax and not pursue what is actually a legitimate case.”
Mr Osborne earlier this year said: “If people feel they have been wronged, the can of course go to court. If they win, they get their money back with interest.”
Secret terror trial is 'assault’ on British justice
A major terrorism trial is to be heard entirely in secret in a “totally unprecedented departure” from centuries of open justice, it can be disclosed.
For the first time in British legal history, two men charged with serious terrorism offences will be kept anonymous and the press and public will be excluded from their trial, the Court of Appeal heard.
MPs and civil rights campaigners said it was an “outrageous assault” on the principles of open justice and set a “very dangerous precedent”.
Prosecutors have successfully applied for the case to be heard in private on grounds of national security but media organisations are trying to overturn the decision.
Journalists have up until now even been banned from reporting the fact that a trial was to be heard in secret.
The move has fuelled concerns over the growth of secret justice in British courts, which has already spread to civil cases and celebrity privacy challenges.
But a major criminal case being heard entirely behind closed doors risks ripping up the very tradition of open justice in the UK, which dates back to the Magna Carta of 1215.
Mr Justice Nicol, a senior Old Bailey judge, ruled last month that the trial of the two men, who are only known as AB and CD, should be heard in camera and that the defendants remain anonymous.
Media organisations, including The Telegraph, have appealed against the orders, including a ban on reporting the legal proceedings.
In the Court of Appeal on Wednesday, Anthony Hudson, for the media groups, said the case was a “totally unprecedented departure from the principle of open justice” and required the judges’ “most anxious scrutiny”.
“We submit that the orders made mark such a significant departure from the principle of open justice that they are inconsistent with the rule of law and democratic accountability,” he said.
“As far as we are aware no order has ever been made that requires the entire criminal trial to be held in private, with the media excluded and defendants anonymous.”
He told the judges: “This appeal raises important issues relating to not only the constitutional principle of open justice but also the equally important principle of fairness and natural justice.
“This case is a test of the court’s commitment to that constitutional principle in the admittedly difficult and sensitive cases where the state seeks to have trials involving terrorism heard in secret and relies in support of that on grounds of national security.”
He added: “National security cannot be pursued without regard of the values of society that it is trying to protect.”
Speaking after the hearing, Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons home affairs committee, said: “For a parliamentary democracy with our reputation for a fair legal system, this sets a very dangerous precedent.
“For an entire trial to be heard in camera, this is unprecedented, very serious and worrying.”
David Blunkett, the former home secretary, said he was “mystified” by the decision and said it amounted to a “removal of open justice”.
“In some cases, there can be justification in terms of the kind of evidence which requires presenting in secret, but it would appear that there is no clarification as to whether this is the case here,” he said.
Clare Algar, executive director of Reprieve, said: “To hold trials entirely in secret is an outrageous assault on the fundamental principles of British justice. This Government’s dangerous obsession with secret courts seems to know no bounds.”
Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: “This case is a worrying high water mark for secrecy in our courts.”
AB and CD were arrested in “high-profile circumstances”, the court heard. AB is charged with preparing terrorist acts and is jointly charged with CD on possessing bomb-making instructions. CD is also charged with possessing an illegal UK passport.
However, the CPS has not disclosed details in public on what the national security case is for requesting their anonymity.
Mr Hudson told the court that the CPS had raised the prospect that holding the case in public would have “disastrous consequences” and could result in the charges being dropped. He said that was an argument that had not been successfully made by them.
Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting, said he agreed with principle of open justice but these were “exceptional circumstances”. “There is a justification for the defendants to remain anonymous and there is a justification for the court to sit in private,” he said. He insisted that the prosecution application had never relied solely on national security grounds.
New laws passed last year also allow for parts of civil cases to be heard in secret if they involve matters of national security, such as compensation claims from terror suspects.
In the latest case, Lord Justice Gross, Mr Justice Simon and Mr Justice Burnett allowed reporting of the open proceedings before them in the Court of Appeal and said they would give their decision on the main appeal, against trial being held in secret, within a few days.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.